Jamal Musiala has blossomed at Bayern Munich.

The top 10 wonderkids of 2022 according to GOAL & how they’ve fared

GOAL’s annual NXGN list of the world’s best wonderkids acts as a weather vane for the future of the game. A list of 50 ballers under the age of 19 who are primed to run the game for years to come.

We’re focussing on 2022’s NXGN  list today. 2022 wasn’t all that long ago, and so we’re taking a look at the development of the 10 highest-rated players according to GOAL, grading them on how they’ve performed.

First up, the American kid aiming to make an impact East of the Atlantic.

Ricardo Pepi: B-

In 2022, Pepi had just completed his first season in Europe, playing very sporadically for Augsburg in the Bundesliga. The lad barely played. His loan move to Groningen bore far more fruit, and he’s about to win the Eredivisie title, having joined PSV on a permanent.

Pepi is back on track, baby, and he gets a B- from us. Room for improvement, but on the right path.

Benjamin Sesko: B+

Slovenia’s most exciting talent in, well, perhaps ever, is ticking along nicely.

At the time that GOAL was compiling this list, Sesko had just scored about 86,000 goals in the Austrian second division for FC Liefering, and followed that up with a slightly less eyecatching season for FC Salzburg in the top tier.

The 2022-23 season was drenched in goals for Sesko, and he earned himself a move to Salzburg’s big brother Leipzig, where he’s continued to rack them up.

The bagsman will surely find himself at a genuinely massive European club soon enough. For now, Sesko gets a B+ from us. Keep on doing what you’re doing, kid.

Yousouffa Moukoko: C

The Cameroon-born German has slowed down a little in his development since 2022. He’s made fewer appearances for Dortmund this season than he did last season, and made less of an impact. However, he is still just 19 years old, and there’s plenty of time to get back to the levels we think he’s capable of.

READ NEXT: Where are they now? The 10 best wonderkids of 2021 according to GOAL

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Devyne Rensch: C+

Rensch had made his international debut a year before GOAL’s list was written, but has yet to make another senior appearance for the Oranje. Rensch is still Ajax’s first-choice right-back and playing regularly.

Unfortunately, Ajax have been absolute horsesh*t this season, and so Rensch has suffered by association. C+.

Rayan Cherki: D

Cherki has been the next best thing for what feels like a long time now, without really pressing on and going to the next level. The Frenchman is still at Lyon, a huge club who’ve been underwhelming in recent seasons.

Cherki is in the same place now as he was back in 2022 and, arguably, has been in the same place as he was when he first broke through.

That’s no bad thing and he’s still literally 20 years old, but more progression needed to get a higher mark from us.

Harvey Elliott: B+

The young Englishman has been smashing it since making GOAL’s 2022 list. He’s truly broken into the first team at Liverpool and made himself a genuinely important part of their midfield and attack.

Elliott is versatile and hardworking, and is surely not far away from an England call up. We’d probably have given him an A if he didn’t have a lid like a pot noodle.

READ: 9 unbelievably young ballers we can’t believe are managers in 2024

Jamal Musiala: A

Musiala is the real deal. If you’re 21 years old, a regular started for a club like Bayern Munich, and already have four league titles to your name, you’re doing something right, and Musiala is doing an awful lot of things right.

Gavi: B

Taking over Xavi’s number 6 shirt is a big deal, and Gavi was viewed by most as the right man for the job. He still may well be but a bad cruciate ligament injury has kept him out for much of this season.

The Spaniard still has huge potential and we back him to get back to his best.

Florian Wirtz: A+

Wirtz is quite simply one of the best young footballers on Earth, right now. His ball control, intelligence, and and product is stupefying. If he goes a season unbeaten in the Bundesliga with Leverkusen, we’ll bump him up to an A+++.

Jude Bellingham: A+

You know how good Bellingham is. We’re not going to patronise you. Instead, have some fun knowledge:

Did you know Jude Bellingham is from the same place as Robert Plant (the singer from Led Zeppelin), and the bloke who played Mike Baldwin in Coronation Street?

Anyway, Bellingham is 20 years old and probably the best player on Earth so he gets an A+, a special commendation, an honourary degree, and whatever else he wants.